I have been promising my mum that I will show her how to use the internet for over a year now. Well, I say promising, I mean threatening. She never got around to being online.
Let me explain: My mum is a stalwart Capital Gold listener. She thinks Tony Blackburn is a bit of alright. She also likes to give anything you plug in a wide berth, with the exception of the iron and microwave. She’s beyond old skull. She’s old.
I’m still getting responses to messages I sent in 2014.
Case in point: a few years back she finally came around to the idea of owning a mobile phone, which was a huge leap for her. Sadly, she thought it would switch itself on when messages arrived.
She stores it in a handbag in her wardrobe for safe keeping. I’m still getting responses to messages I sent in 2014.
I would give up, but that would mean losing contact with her all together, which very nearly happened when I lived in Mexico. She did try Skype. It involved her staring into a webcam like a deer in headlights before awkwardly over enunciating questions about my eating habits.
The alternative was the letters. But if I got another letter reminding me to be demure and quiet if I wanted to trick a man into marrying me, I might spontaneously combust in the street.
Cue my summer project: Teach Mum how to use the internet. I decided to start her on an iPad. My nephew seems to handle it easily, so it seemed a logical start. What could go wrong? How was I to know my dad had loaded it up with wedding photos and videos…
“if I got another letter reminding me to be demure and quiet if I wanted to trick a man into marrying me, I might spontaneously combust in the street”
Normally, I would panic. But I decided to lean the fuck in. I thought I’d get her to google Indian weddings.Then my dad walked in and everything went to shit. What ensued was a self-inflicted hour of my mother sharing her disappointment at not having a daughter who was married yet through pictures and video (yes somehow she figured out Youtube.) I was being held hostage and shown poorly videoed footage of my cousin’s wedding, while my dad explained why the flute player was excellent marriage material (‘He played at the opening ceremony of the Olympics. What do you think of that?” Strangely enough dad, not much.)
When we finally got to the last photo my mother exploded “These are your people! This is what we do! So just look happy and accept it.” This outburst was promptly followed by her trademark narcolepsy, robbing me of the opportunity to say anything in my defence. It was like a ‘You-should-be-married-by-now’ drive-by.
I decided to let her live in an internet free world. People don’t write enough letters these days.